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Beating out more than 550 entries, the Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) received a first-place PRO Award on Sept. 13 for its 2010 Ogres & Onions campaign that paired DreamWorks Animation’s popular Shrek character with Vidalia Onions.
The recognition from Promo Magazine completes a trifecta of national marketing awards for the onion farmers this year. In April the campaign earned the group and promoter Langston Communications Inc., two first-place Reggie awards from Promotion Marketing Association for “age-specific” and “national consumer under $1-million.” In June Ogres & Onions clinched a coveted PRSA Bronze Anvil for non-profit media relations tactics. Sahlman Williams Public Relations assisted the VOC with media and public relations, and McIntyre Marketing provided retail marketing, graphics and electronic media support.
The Ogres & Onions campaign coincided with the theatrical release of the final Shrek movie, “Shrek Forever After.” The colorful, kid-friendly promotion increased sales of bagged onions almost 30 percent for the season. Stories from parents who were surprised that their kids were eating onions created so much hype that the Vidalia promotion made the Wall Street Journal, ABC World News, FOX Business and other national media.
“We set out to convince parents to buy and kids to eat our onions, and thankfully we did it,” noted Wendy Brannen, executive director of VOC. The committee sought an innovative promotion as insurance that the Vidalia industry, one of the top vegetable money-makers for Georgia’s agricultural economy, be sustained in the future.
For more information about the Vidalia onion industry, visit wwwvidaliaonion.org.